On Thursday, Zimbabwe’s so-called unity government turned one year old. They have been partners in government for a year now and the Movement for Democratic change (MDC) never passed up the opportunity to blame ZANU-PF for everything that’s going wrong within the so-called unity government.
I was astounded earlier in the week when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC “demanded” conclusions to the negotiations in which they are the principal participants.
I am not sure from whom the MDC was making such a demand and why; I am not sure who, if not the MDC itself, has the authority or power to conclude these stupid talks.
But, as usual, the MDC are playing to the gallery and are trying to blame everyone else but themselves.
Tsvangirai’s party said on Tuesday that there must be closure “soon” to talks on the issues troubling the power-sharing government and urged that the Southern African Development Community intervenes, if there is a deadlock.
There have always been deadlocks since these talks started years ago.
This demand, however, was issued to South African facilitators who had arrived in Zimbabwe earlier in the week on behalf of South African President Jacob Zuma.
It was predictable posturing meant to divert or exonerate the MDC from their active participation in this farce called “talks”.
Comedy, I say, should be left to professional clowns who entertain people without getting them killed.
Tsvangirai and his party leaders have become dangerously foolish. The MDC is now weaker and not strong enough to contain ZANU-PF because they have already fallen into the net, the ZANU-PF net. Mugabe knows the power of greed.
Tsvangirai is definitely confused.
Less than two weeks ago, Tsvangirai himself chided Zuma for calling for fresh elections, something that Botswana has been trumpeting since the electoral charade of 2008.
Suddenly finding himself among world leaders in Switzerland, Tsvangirai was hit with amazement and then was overcome with astonishment at being at the apex of the world, rubbing shoulders with world leaders, and euphorically called for the easing of sanctions on Mugabe and his lieutenants, saying that the “progress” the MDC and ZANU-PF had achieved in Zimbabwe must be rewarded.
Regrettably, the European Union is now considering Tsvangirai’s call to ease sanctions on Mugabe and his murderous non-complying lot.
As is usual with amateurs, Tsvangirai’s euphoria wore off quickly and he made his customary u-turn.
Hardly a week after chiding Zuma for calling for fresh elections, Tsvangirai on Monday, said, “We are able to say to president Zuma and SADC that ZANU-PF is refusing to implement (the agreement) and therefore as far as we are concerned the only solution is that let’s agree on a road map to an election.”
A few days later, Mugabe issued a directive to his ZANU-PF cabinet ministers and deputies that they should not listen to or take orders from Tsvangirai, but should, instead, take orders from Mugabe’s own deputies.
Then, a few days later, Tsvangirai “demanded” from Zuma that the negotiations be concluded.
Pathetic is an effusively kind word.
Tsvangirai and his equally blind party leaders continue to worry about talks that have never yielded anything positive since they started years before the unity government was established.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said progress had been observed in areas of economic resuscitation, although “we are still far from where we should be in terms of addressing economic recovery and growth and investment”.
“When it comes to issues around democratization such as the constitution-making process, the rule of law, the return of democratic institutions, there has not really been much improvement and not as much consistency and determination to deal with the issues of reforming institutions and instilling a better culture of respect for human rights,” they said.
The MDC knows that these talks are a sham and have become a source of income for the participants who have dragged these senseless talks far beyond normal.
Having failed to agree, they should disband and try another angle with new negotiators.
Today these nonsensical and endless negotiations are married to people who have failed to achieve anything in the last three years.
The lifespan of the unity government is almost over and while ZANU-PF has started mobilizing for the next elections, the MDC continues to blindly try to hold talks for a unity government whose days are numbered.
The talks were supposed to have pried open and concluded the so-called outstanding issues so that the unity government could function in a mutually agreed manner during its lifespan; now its lifespan is almost over and the haggling is increasing.
Is the MDC aware of the campaign for a new constitution or they are so enmeshed in the extravagant US dollars being splashed around these endless talks?
Tsvangirai has been effectively kept at the periphery of power and is totally stranded, not knowing what to do next.
The MDC have fallen into the habit of being in government yet denying responsibility for the bad things that continue to happen in the country under their government.
They have been in government for a year now yet “torture, harassment and politically motivated prosecutions of human rights defenders and perceived opponents” still persist under both Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
In spite of the MDC’s presence in government, the situation in Zimbabwe remains fragile because of the delay in implementing reforms “as perpetrators continue to escape justice and are instead effectively given the all clear to continue violating human rights”.
Violence has once again picked up again as villagers in parts of Zimbabwe are being threatened with violence by army backed supporters of ZANU-PF, in an attempt to force them to endorse the Kariba Draft constitution that leaves Mugabe’s powers almost intact.
The draft was cobbled up by both ZANU-PF and the MDC without input from civil society. The MDC does not want it anymore while ZANU-PF is beating up people to force them to endorse it since it is very favourable to Mugabe.
The MDC must now shoulder as much blame as ZANU-PF.
The MDC must also be blamed for all our current ills just as much as ZANU-PF is. We cannot continue blaming one and exonerating the other while they both enjoy the same perks and run the country together, calling their bastard government a unity government. If they insist on staying on in this government, the MDC must shoulder its share of the blame as well. They must take responsibility for their actions or lack of.
The MDC can no longer continue to enjoy the best of both worlds, choosing to criticize and to blame their partner in government while their mere presence in that government is shielding one half of a government that continues to abuse the people, violating their human rights right under the noses of the MDC.
We can no longer continue to exonerate the MDC for they have been in government for a year now.
One year on, our fortunes have not changed so I see no reason why the MDC should ask the world to reward what it calls progress in Zimbabwe since the unity government was formed.
Zimbabwe needs a more responsible government than what we currently have.
In this context, both the MDC and ZANU-PF have failed us; and I now blame the MDC more.